Wednesday 26 October 2016


Lade - mild, overcast, light airs - The past couple of days have seen few new arrivals on the local patch and elsewhere across the peninsula. There has been a slight increase in crests in the garden, a few Swallows overhead and a Great White Egret on south lake to keep the interest ticking along.
Dungeness - 0800hrs - Once again a circuit of the point this morning yielded precious few migrants with a light overhead passage of Goldfinches, Linnets, Mipits, alba wagtails and Skylarks. In the bushes a few Song Thrushes, Robins, Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Goldcrests, plus two Black Redstarts by the Britannia, a Firecrest in the lighthouse garden, a Great Spotted Woodpecker by Lloyds, a Chiffchaff in the moat and two Swallows along the beach by the fishing boats. Offshore just the usual passing Gannets and Brents.
BBC Autumnwatch - I`m sure you`re all aware that its back on our screens, for one week only, with the usual trio of Packham, Strachan and Hughes-Games, plus entourage having pitched up at RSPB Arne in Dorset on the edge of the spectacular Poole Harbour, probably the finest natural harbour in  these islands.
  Having watched the first two episodes there were one or two items of interest, in between the usual infantile comments from our illustrious hosts. The piece on Edible Dormice was a bit of a shocker as I hadn't realised how abundant they have become (probably one million of them!) in my old neck-of-the-woods. Together with that other non-native species, the Grey Squirrel, no wonder breeding bird numbers have plummeted in Chilterns` woodlands (and by the way BBC, Edible Dormice have nothing to do with the "demise of Pied Flycatchers", as they do not and never have bred in the Chilterns, at least not since the Glis has been present).
  Talking of duff gen poor old Martin Hughes-Games got in a right old pickle with his wader names as he floundered around in the Poole Harbour mud looking for roosting "Eurasian Spoonbills". Still, we`ve not got to put up with him for much longer as I hear tell his days are numbered at Spring/Autumn/Winterwatch and this is his last outing, for reasons which are best left untold...
  Anyhow, the Golden Eagle piece was also of interest (the cynic in me thinks that at least now they`ve got a tracker on the poor thing they`ll be able to pin-point where it gets killed - sorry!), along with leprosy in Red Squirrels, Arne reptiles, nasty Asian hornets murdering our native bees and even nastier human hunters shooting `our` Bewick`s Swans on migration.
  With two more episodes to go no doubt there`ll be a few more nuggets to enjoy of what, as a concept, is a very good natural history show, just a shame about some of the presentation.


  1. With Mr Hughes-Games leaving Paul, there must now be an opening... how about you and Barney having a go! I'd watch it!

  2. Now that really would be a comedy show - probably get more sense out of Barney!! Tell you what though I know a local Welshman who`d fit the bill..

  3. The programme, as usual, does have some very good, in depth features about certain species and Packham can be very good when he isn't swapping inuendos with that woman.

  4. Agreed Derek, I also find some of his innuendoes not only embarrassing but inappropriate. However, last night`s show highlighted a cracking piece on Ladybird Spiders, something I was completely ignorant of.